We want to thank the Holy Spirit, who is always thinking of us and our family, and who gave us a very special Pentecost!
The arrival of Father Andrea, Father Marco and a new uncle, Luca, was a blessing which brought us many graces! Our priests arrived at 5:30 in the morning, which was a surprise for everybody! Even all the children came running down into the front yard after hearing the horns honking to welcome our new guests! Some of them had already met father Andrea, but most of them only know them through the live streaming that we follow on the Internet. It was a very joyful moment full of embraces and joy!
Right away, there was a climate of profound peace and friendship. Our priests fit right in, right away, loving, praying, listening, hugging, working and playing with our children. We felt that the ‘heart of the Community’ had come to us to simply say, ‘Thank you for all that you do, courage, no fear, move forward!’, this all gave us a very big push to keep fighting!
Our mission is very open, and there is daily contact, in helping, in talking and in working with our neighbors and friends. Together, with our priests we went together to the village clinic, where Marlon our missionary and doctor works for free every 2 weeks. Together they were able to assist an elderly lady at the end of her life, and a young boy HIV positive, in very bad condition. Father Andrea and Father Marco spoke and encouraged them, and with the permission of the family, baptized Mary, the very sick elderly lady. Just a few days later she passed away and we are sure that she is in Heaven, praying and interceding for each one of us.
Thank you all for your prayers for the political situation in Liberia: it has been a huge blessing for the whole country. The protests against the government were very peaceful, also because the memories are still fresh of the nightmares that they lived during the three civil wars: nobody wants to live the pain and the violence again.
The day of the strike we prayed perpetual Rosaries together with the children in front of Jesus in the Eucharist. We want to say thank you because this country has put on our knees many times, the poverty, the injustice, the sicknesses, in front of all of this sufferance there is only the prayer, because only entrusting all of this to Jesus, the cross becomes hope.
On the day of Pentecost we celebrated the Holy Mass. Our children danced and sang with so much enthusiasm, so our celebrations are always very joyful.
After the homily there was a very beautiful surprise: Uncle Ramon, who is here almost 1 year, Auntie Francesca, who was here for 9 months, and our uncles Ben and Christian, two young Liberians that we have welcomed in our mission, received their missionary crosses! The cross that they received is made with Liberian wood; a very beautiful red wood, which signifies that in this country, very wounded by war and violence, even the wood itself is the color of blood.
After this moment, all of the consecrated renewed their vows with so much gratitude and joy for the gift of having been called, and for the gift of the ‘yes’ and the life of Mother Elvira. We thank Mother Elvira in a special way, without her there would be no ‘Cenacolo’ and we would not be part of this beautiful story!
In the afternoon, we received a much unexpected surprise: our parish priest, Father Paul, with many other friends came to give us all of the providence that they had given during the offertory in the Holy Mass. In this time of poverty and struggles, it moves our hearts towards these beautiful Liberian people who give us all even when they have nothing.
Some weeks ago, one man called us saying that he had 10 bags of rice; we thought that it was a joke but instead we found ourselves in front of a very humble man who said. “Somebody told me about what you do and I wanted to give you this gift.”
How great and surprising is the Love of God!!
In this time, together with our priests, we were very happy to send the greetings of Mother Elvira and Father Stefano to the Consolata Sisters. They are very dear friends, but above all, courageous missionaries, that have spent most of their lives in this country. We thank them because their friendship has been something very precious since the beginning of our story here in Liberia.
In the days following Pentecost, there were different moments of sharing with all of us and our priests; moments of joy, simplicity and family amongst the adults and the children. The last day we celebrated the Holy Mass at midnight, and with so much gratitude and tears in our eyes we said our goodbyes to father Andrea, father Marco, Auntie Francesca and Uncle Ernesto, who were travelling back to Italy.
The detachment was difficult; not only for us, but also for the children, who were willing to wake up late in the night to say goodbye to them!!
It is a great reminder for us that the distance between us is not important, that we are united in the same Spirit who makes us a very unique family!
We also want to say a big thank you to all of our friends who have come to visit us in this last period; the mother of uncle Christopher, auntie Tara, who has come to do an experience here with us, and the parents of uncle Ramon who came from Spain, and in this week Angelita, our Italian friend who we welcomed just a few days ago!
We ask that you continue to pray for us, our children and for the poor people here in Liberia. We entrust all of you with so much love to the Virgin Mary, and we bring you all to her sanctuary, ‘Our Lady Queen of Peace’.